Tessa DeCarlo is a career woman, and a devoted wife.
Her work life is good—fulfilling, even.
Tessa loves her husband, and she is determined to make their union work. She overlooks their
lackluster sex life, as well as his disinterest in doing
after all. For better or worse, right?
But, when Tessa is hit with the ultimate betrayal just days before her class reunion,
loyalty inside of a failing marriage
Despite what she has gone through
the event. She has no idea what to expect from the evening,
a getaway. But, when she encount
But not for long . . .
There will be twists, turns, and added cast members to bring this story to life. Will Tessa return
to her marriage and try to make it work
choose to be alone?
Q: To start with tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a passionate individual who loves to write, who is obsessed with miniature golf/badminton, and who is a perfectionist. I am addicted to knowledge, and attracted to intellect. There’s nothing sexier than a man who is intelligent…genuinely intelligent. I’m vocal and will defend my point to the death. Anyone in my immediate circle will attest to that. I’m a person who explicates just about everything when it comes to inspirational quotes – or any quotes for that matter. I’m an admitted control freak…and a Leo. I think that’s it. No, wait! I love life and am the kind of person who will come down really hard on myself if I feel like I’ve gone through the day without investing in myself.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?
I’ve known I wanted to be an author since I was 12 years old. I used to write short stories with two
primary themes: 1) Walking through the woods with a group of friends and finding a magical cottage with a little old lady inside telling really magical stories about the future. I remember once we got inside her house it would be glamorous and much bigger than it looked from the outside. I was really living a dream through these stories and I saw it metaphorically. It was a picture of how I saw my life at that time, versus what I desired it to be. It was probably, in large, because of my obsession with glamour. 2) I also wrote a lot of stories about kids with invisible friends, though I didn’t have one myself :-) I think I needed one to help curb that overactive imagination.
Q: What is the most frustrating thing about being a writer?
The most frustrating part about writing to me, is not the actual writing itself, but the worrying about
whether anyone will like my work or not. So much so that whenever I write a story, I never go back and read it again for fear I will find something that would give any reader ammunition to hate me and chalk me up to a wannabe. Don’t get me wrong, I know I can write and I have total faith in my writing, it’s the “acceptance” factor. I’m slowly shaking that and simply reveling in a place of finding comfort in the fact that I’m writing after having put it off so long because of fear.
Q: Are you a pantser or plotter?
100% #TeamPantser! In fact, I think I might be allergic to plotting!
Q: When you think up a story idea do you concentrate on characters first or the storyline?
I tend to concentrate on a single character first, and build a story around that person.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from your work?
I want them to see that I work extremely hard to make my stories, and characters individuals. I don’t look at other author’s characters and take from them, I build these characters…these stories from scratch, and I feel that I owe it to them to tell their stories as thorough as possible, from the glorious to the imperfections. I want them to take from my work that I put my all into it because it’s important for me that I deliver a fine piece of work.
Q: What was your road to publication like? What made you choose the self-publishing route?
I haven’t had a road, per se. I just got in my car and drove, and am still driving until I reach a destination. I will say that the beginnings were awesome in how it all came to be. It came in the form of, “you never know who’s watching.” Literally. I used to blog heavily. I’ve since retired that blog (but will resurrect it one day soon), and had a pretty decent following. Well, there was one follower who I didn’t even realize was watching my work. Never commented, never emailed, but I knew she was a follower because I kept up with that list of people, for the sake of seeing who my audience was. After about two years of blogging, I received a message one day from her asking me if I’d like to participate in an anthology. I was so green that before I responded, I had to look up what that even was. I have always been an avid reader, but had only ever read complete novels, so wasn’t up on the lingo. As soon as I got the definition, I responded back with, “you know I’ve never published anything before, right?” to which she responded, “well you should. I’ve followed your blog for years now and you can write!” I think I started crying at that moment in front of my keyboard. It was the first time that my writing had been officially validated, and it felt good. It was years in the making.
With the self-publishing route, I decided that it would be much more effective for me to just write and get editing and publish my works to get my name out there, rather than wait for weeks, months, and YEARS, to find a Literary Agent who believed in me to get behind my work, or a huge publishing house that already has their focuses on a particular genre of work. I wanted to see who Perri was first before I introduced her to that population of individuals. It was kind of like finding myself, and building my brand before I got my “30 seconds to tell me your story,” type deal going. I want to get to a place where if I meet someone in the Literary world one day, I can tell them without blinking, why I’m their girl and be able to sell that with confidence and truth. Right now, I’m figuring out where I fit and thus far, I can tell it isn’t in any one box so I need to figure out how to clearly articulate that. I do feel that my day is near though. It isn’t wishful thinking, I just feel it. I’m hardworking and this writing thing is what I would for free, so I know I’ve found my purpose.
Q: What’s coming down the pipeline next?
I’m finishing the fourth installment of the Pandora’s Box series. I just completed my third full length
novel, and am very excited about it. Once editing is done and final touches are made, it will be published. My goal for publication is March 27, 2015. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback for A Lioness’ Tale, my debut novel, and am going to begin mapping out a sequel to that. It may be a bit shorter, and in fact I may make them into smaller series of one another versus trying to tackle a full novel again. I think my characters may be so rich in character that one per book is enough. Lol! But I am one for challenges, so we’ll see.
Q: Before we go what’s your advice to aspiring writers?
I would say more than anything don’t try to impress others before impressing yourself because then you begin to lose touch with your organic writing voice. I did that for a bit – and in some ways am still trying to get away from it. In my case, it almost made me not want to write anymore. I’m thankful that didn’t happen. I think that aspiring writers should just write from the heart and that no matter what comes during their day, to make sure they at least give a part of that day to writing something! Keep the ideas fresh and flowing. Even if it’s building a dream character on paper, just write. It’s the most important thing you could for your career. Also try as hard as possible to surround yourself with like people of like minds.
Don’t get so caught up in the popularity game that you allow anybody into your space. If they must be deleted, do so. Add and follow the ones who want to see you do well. Seek healthy relationships that you can learn from and grow with. When I entered this world, I automatically expected others to embrace me and that didn’t happen so I had to feel my way around – much like everyday relationships. There will be trial and error, but at the end as long as you have a healthy balance of genuine people, it will be worth the trouble.
Q: What writers inspired/inspire you?
I've always LOVED Jackie Collins! She has been a favorite since I was a teenager. James Patterson is
another one, but recently I stopped reading him because of all the collaborations. I recently added James Rollins, on the word of an author friend, but I have yet to crack the book open. I also LOVE Paulo Coelho...particularly, "The Alchemist". It's a must-have. Finally, I have a huge respect for the indie writer, and have come to fall in love with quite a few who I feel take the craft serious. We are up and coming, and I’m proud to be a part of such a growing community of dedicated writers.
Perri Forrest was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in sunny
California. She describes herself as a trilogy
navigates through Corporate America flawlessly from Human Resources
to Project Management, a Sociologist with a burning desire to save the world, and an Author who loves writing life into fiction.
When Perri suffered the devastating loss of her first cous
birthday, in 2006, with a few months left to complete her undergraduate
studies, she barely made it through. A good friend not only suggested
that she begin blogging to journal her moods and thoughts, that same
friend gifted her with a newly designed blog platform, which birthed her first e-journal.
The blog opened a whole new world for Perri and served as a place she
could express candidly, about life. When her blog was discovered and
she began receiving compliments on not just her candor, but on her writing style as well, it fueled the fire, and thoughts of penning a novel resurfaced.
The lingering doubts of, "Who would even want to read your work?" were replaced with, "Worry
about an audience later, and just do it."
And that she did.
Perri writes what she likes to call, "Multicultural Mayhem, laced with Sex, Cursing, Sass and the
Occasional Happily Ever After."
Perri plans to perfect her craft and delve into other genres down the line. With "Amazon bestselling author," added to her list of credits. Perri is in the writing game for the long haul and has not intentions of putting down her pen anytime soon.
(not to be used without permission of author)
Monday was its usual gloom day. Everybody, including Tessa, roamed the office in a
zombie-like state. Some walked in with cups from Starbucks, while others crowded the break
room area waiting for the company-provided gourmet to brew.
A pick-me-up was definitely in order. It was like The Walking Dead. Whoever said that
Monday should be a workday, and not a part of the weekend, was crazy! She chuckled to herself.
Hell, would Tuesday be even better?
Getting into the groove of things was even more difficult than Tessa thought it would be.
She wanted to forget. She wanted to be whole again. She wanted to be strong again. She wanted
a do-over—one that didn’t include leaving without at least saying goodbye to August.
Regardless of how the evening ended, he had been the boost that she needed. He treated her
to attention she had never received. He made love to her in a way she had never been made love.
He had touched her soul. Many people would probably think her behavior was whorish, but in
her mind it was very much needed, and she felt well within her rights.
It wasn’t everyday that a woman entered her own home and caught her husband in the
process of making passionate love to someone else. Sure, it happened all the time. But in the
family home! And not just fucking her…making love to her. Their act gave a whole new
meaning to the term, Hump Day.
After last Wednesday’s fiasco, Tessa had decided to telecommute so that she could deal with
the aftermath of Charles’ indiscretions in solitude, and away from the hustle and bustle of the
office. Now she was back after having been off for four days.
She had to admit, it certainly was a drama-filled four days.
First there were the police who showed up because someone had called to say they heard
commotion from inside hers and Charles’s home. Tessa smiled to herself, thinking back to the
incident. The memory of Charles lying on the ground whimpering like a little bitch brought her
She had every intention of going to her reunion and leaving him lying on the floor to fend
for himself. Every intention!
But that wasn’t to be. When the police arrived at the door, and Tessa allowed them in, she
quickly sprung into action: “Oh, thank you! I’m so happy you showed up when you did! My
husband took a rough tumble down the last few stairs, and I’ve been unable to move him!”
The officers had given her a side eye glance when they saw how calm she was, but it didn’t
bother Tessa one bit. She was willing to let the chips fall where they may. Charles wasn’t ready
to pay out of his ass for alimony. Not to mention legal fees that she would be entitled to, so he
knew better than to spin things any way but in her favor.
Besides, he wouldn’t have been on the floor howling like a wounded animal if it weren’t for
his own actions.
“Is that what happened, sir?” they’d asked him, while helping him to his feet and leading
him to the sofa, while summoning the paramedics inside. Charles had glared at Tessa before he
answered the cops’ question. “Yes…sir. We’d…ouuhhh!” he’d yelled out in pain, trying to get
his words to form. “We’d been engaged in a small debate, and I was trying to follow my wife
down the stairs as she was walking away—”
“Take your time, sir,” the cop had said, sympathetically.
“…I somehow lost my footing toward the end,” he slowly continued.
Tessa had neither breathed a sigh of relief, nor felt any sort of gratitude toward him for
keeping her out of the back of a squad car. She didn’t care. She enjoyed seeing him in pain.
Whatever was broken or fractured wasn’t nearly enough, because he was still able to talk—
and even worse, breathe. It was never a part of any of her plans to call anybody to come help his
ass, so he should have thanked his lucky stars for nosey ass neighbors. Or…who knows, maybe
his bitch called on his behalf, she had thought at the time.
It didn’t matter. It had been the least of Tessa’s concerns. Her sole focus had been getting
her things packed up so that she could get to her reunion, unwind, relax, and enjoy.
When the police had finally left and Charles had taken his ride in the ambulance to ensure
that he wasn’t broken, as well as bruised, Tessa hadn’t missed a beat. They even had the nerve to
ask if she wanted to accompany Charles to the hospital. It took everything in her to say, “Hell
fucking no!” but instead she politely declined with a lie: “I’m going to take my own car and meet
him there, and that way we won’t have to wait around for a ride home.”
Once the entourage was out of her driveway, Tessa settled in to clean and come down from
When Charles called later that evening to try talking to her, Tessa had already placed a prerecorded
message on their answering machine advising him that he needed to come with a police
escort if he wanted to preserve his belongings. She also let him know that he had forty-eight
hours to do it, whether he was of sound body or not. Otherwise, they’d be taken to the nearest
When Thursday morning rolled around, Tessa made a last minute decision to take a personal
day to decompress, and Friday had already been scheduled in preparation for the reunion.
“Ahh,” she sighed, arriving back to the present. And then comes Monday.
Tessa closed her eyes momentarily. She desperately needed her double shot of espresso to
rush in and save the day, and bring a double boost of energy with it. While she waited for a
miracle, she thought back to August, his dark features, his beautiful physique, and his mastery in
the art of lovemaking.
With the memory, came a sensation that hovered over her entire midsection, before resting
at her thighs, then travelling upward into her stomach, and then her chest. It was a full-body jolt.
The romance of the evening was embedded in her mind, and heart. And although she would
never admit it to anyone, he was all she had thought of since she left his hotel room. She
wondered where he was, what he thought of her—or if he thought of her